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Albanese meeting ‘no mandate for AUKUS or weapons spending’ – Peace Action Wellington

“Chris Luxon’s meeting with Australian Prime Minister Albanese does not give him any mandate to join AUKUS nor to expand New Zealand’s military budget,” said Valerie Morse of Peace Action Wellington.

“There was simply no discussion during the election about this.”

The US and Australia are pushing for New Zealand to spend more money on preparing for war. Already, New Zealand spends more than $18 million a day on the military. The 2023 military budget totalled

$(NZ)$6,631,269,000, an average of more than $127.5 million every week.

“The Australians and US want New Zealand to give more money to weapons dealers under the guise of ‘security’. AUKUS is a multi-billion dollar slush fund for the arms trade – it will do nothing to improve South Pacific security. Their AUKUS plans are a recipe for nuclear war in the region.”

“The US and Australia have been spreading fears about China for the last five years. Instead of engaging in peacebuilding dialogue and an aggressive disarmament agenda, the US and Australia are fueling an arms race in the South Pacific. It is counterproductive and dangerous.”

“As importantly, our Pacific allies do not want AUKUS. They are alarmed by Australia’s clear violation of the Treaty of Rarotonga that exists to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear vessels.”

Regional leaders who have publicly expressed concerns about the deal include Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare, Tuvalu’s foreign Minister Simon Kofe, and Vanuatu’s Climate Change Minister Ralph Regenvanu.

“Instead of addressing the real problems that real people across the region are facing, like the impacts of extreme climate change, Australia has bought into the US approach that having more weapons will buy you peace and security. This is a lie that benefits arms dealers at the expense of all of our other urgent needs.”

“New Zealand’s new government has illustrated that it has no innovative or thoughtful approaches to achieving a peaceful and prosperous region.

It is just reverting to decades-old alignment with the US, with little understanding that the world has changed dramatically since the conclusion of the disastrous ‘war on terrorism.’”

“There is no support for more money for war. It’s that simple.”

 

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